Ryan McCaskey’s team from Acadia won Chowdah Fest last night onboard the Columbia Yacht Club’s vessel; next up were Kevin Hickey of Allium and Chef Julius Russell, private chef with A Tale of Two Chefs (who won fan favorite last year). In other Acadia news, they’re launching brunch on April 28; see the menu here.
• Leopold’s “The Old Farm” pop-up dinner series continues with guest chef Brian Runge— one of the first things he’s done since acclaimed-slash-quickly-closed Premise closed… quickly. It’s Monday, March 25; $75 per person includes a Koval-featured cocktail hour at 6:30, a multicourse dinner at 7:30, and a toast with the chefs at the end of the meal; call 312-348-1028 for reservations as seats are limited.
• The Publican is putting a generous twist on Restaurant Week— bring in non-perishable items anytime during the week of March 18-24 in exchange for your choice of a complimentary beverage, pork rinds (if available) or a brunch pastry if you’re there during brunch. Proceeds go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
• Five years ago, auspiciously for the number “5,” The Fifty/50 opened; to celebrate, they’re having a party from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20, featuring a Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka reception, $5 signature burgers, and cake from West Town Bakery & Diner. They will also unveil new bar and dinner menus then.